Last week the Colts were your Survivor Pool lock. They made things ... interesting. (For the record we only did it via video last week; now we're going print as well.) Each Thursday night, myself and Pete Prisco will make survivor picks to help you guys plan for the week. I'll break those down here in advance of Sunday. We'll feature our top-five options, who we're picking, my sleeper pick and my trap-game pick.
Pregame Live leads up to Thursday night's game so you can get the picks then if you want (7:30 p.m. ET here) or you can tweet me @WillBrinson if you're worried about getting a pick in before Thursday.
Onto this week's top five.
1) Chicago Bears -- Pete and Dave Richard disagreed with my No. 1 choice and that's fine. I love the Bears this week though. They're at home, they're a reasonably big favorite in Vegas (-6.5) and they break just one reasonable rule (via Dave) as they're in a divisional game. I don't care as much about that as I do the matchup. There's almost no way I'd use the Bears again until the middle of December against the Browns with the Saints, Giants, Lions, Ravens and Cowboys as their home games. I think Minnesota's overvalued and though Adrian Peterson scares me, Chicago is a good matchup all around for this Vikings team. Big win here.
2) New England Patriots -- Hindsight always wins! But, no, really, check the tape. This was a lot closer than it should have been thanks to a lot of drops from Tom Brady's wide receivers. If you used the Patriots in Week 2 you might actually be happy. They don't have a bunch of lovable games until later in the year aside from hosting the Buccaneers next week and the Dolphins late in October. New England might be a good team to squat on until later in the season when their stars return.
3) Houston Texans -- I prefer the Titans against the spread here and Houston's a bit scary given how they looked early against the Chargers. But I've got to believe that the Texans won't limp into this game the way they did in San Diego, given that it's their home opener. The Titans defense is better than expected thanks to guys like Jurrell Casey and Zach Brown -- as chronicled by Pete Prisco here -- but the Texans should still be able to move the ball both through the ground and air. Chris Johnson was strong against the Texans last year but Jake Locker either got injured or completed 46.7 percent of his passes with three picks.
4) Green Bay Packers -- Mike McCarthy's team spent all offseason prepping for the read option and somehow won't end up seeing much of it. It's unlikely Robert Griffin III runs much, which will limit what Alfred Morris can do. The Packers defense is vulnerable but RG3 still needs more time to get right before he carves anyone up through the air alone. Aaron Rodgers will have a field day against a young secondary as the Packers roll in their home opener.
5) Philadelphia Eagles -- Very surprising that not many people in CBSSports.com Survivor Leagues (less than eight percent) are taking Philly. Chip Kelly's new offense decimated Washington in Week 1 and the Chargers look ripe for the taking. They're a team with questionable talent coming off a disastrous loss on Monday night, traveling from the west coast on short rest. They're ripe to get manhandled in Philly.
SLEEPER: Oakland Raiders -- If you have all of your juevos on the plate, Oakland is your play. They're large favorites at home against the Jaguars and this is absolutely the only time this season you can play the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor looked strong in Week 1, passing for 200 yards and running for another 100 in a loss to the Colts. But this is a risky pick and you're rolling the dice on the Raiders when you do it. Oakland could easily lose to Jacksonville this week. And if you take Oakland and don't win it's a lot worse than not being able to use Oakland. Only for the bold.
TRAP GAME: Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Ryan is 33-5 at the Georgia Dome in his career so you're betting on a pretty good track record if you take the Dirty Birds here. However a word of caution: the Rams are a dynamic pass-rushing team and Atlanta doesn't have a strong offensive line. Additionally Julio Jones is banged up and Roddy White might be simply a decoy. If Sam Bradford, Jared Cook and the offense stay on track then the Falcons could suffer a rare upset at home.
|Survivor||Week 2 Pick||Analysis|
|Da. Bears. Pretty sure they've burnt me before or come close to it but I like this matchup. Chicago has the bodies to snuff Adrian Peterson and the cornerbacks to finish Christian Ponder off. They'll get the defensive touchdowns that the Lions couldn't.|
|Prisco loves the tempo that Chip Kelly brings and it's hard to blame him. Add in the fact that the Chargers are flying across the country on a short week and it makes the Eagles a very viable choice for survivor pools this week.|
|Richard -- who may swap out with Jamey Eisenberg through the season -- also loves the Eagles this week. Same reasons too: tempo, the Chargers being generally stinky in folding against the Texans, a west-coast trip and a non-divisional game.|